You can admire Messi but never call him ‘God’ Pope Francis cautions

Credit PA

The Barcelona forward is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, with millions of supporters worshipping him whenever he plays a game.

If the first of them was a flawless Panenka free-kick, the secon was a neat shot past Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Lionel Messi continued his remarkable run of form as his second-half double, including an impudent free-kick, helped Barcelona continue their march towards the La Liga title on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Espanyol.

Messi's brace kept his side in full control at the top of La Liga and ensured he surpassed 40 goals in a season for the 10th consecutive year - despite an ongoing pelvic injury.

When asked whether it is sacrilegious to call Messi God, Pope Francis replied: "In theory, it is sacrilege. but I don't believe it".

"Messi is the same player with Barcelona and with Argentina, and he would be the same if he played with Australia", Valverde said.

Читайте также: Zidane on Benzema's Real future: 'I don't believe that will change'

And the Pope urged people to remember the Barcelona ace is "not God".

However, the head of the Catholic church also said he doesn't believe the player's D10S moniker to be sacrilegious. "I show my affection for the national team in a different way and to anyone who says differently, I have nothing to prove". I tell him it's only some people, that there are others who love me. Adoring is only for God, they are expressions people use.

Messi also signed a jersey along with his teammates for Pope Francis during the 2014 World Cup.

"(Saying) "He's a god with the ball on the pitch" is a popular way to express yourself.

'But look how he plays, eh?' Evole responded.

Moving on, Barcelona and Lionel Messi are in preparations to face English giants Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League Quarter-finals fixtures.

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